In honour of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the European Union organized a film festival that began on Friday, 15th November 2019, at the British Council Hall, in Freetown. The opening title of the festival was “Jelly Fish”. The film depicts the manner in which children in the world are not given equal opportunities to express themselves and suffer constant abuse by their parents, teachers, etc. The Director of “Jelly Fish”, James Garbner, said he was inspired by what young girls go through when he put the film together. He said girls are most times not given the opportunity to speak on issues that are affecting their well being, and are treated as underdogs. He opined that the movie has the tendency to provoke debate and discussions around issues that are affecting girls. Garbner noted that the film was a labor of love, for no one was paid in putting the film together. European Union Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Tom Vens, said they use this film festival to celebrate culture, and diversity. He went on to say that the film festival was a way to advocate for the children who go through constant abuse. He revealed that they have sixteen movies, of which eight are European and the remaining eight are African movies. They will extend the festival to other parts of the country, like Bo, Kenema, etc.
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The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a human rights treaty, which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. The convention defines a child as any human being under the age of eighteen, unless the age majority is attained earlier under national legislation. Nations that ratify this convention are bound to it by international law. Compliance is monitored by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which is composed of members from countries around the world. Once a year, the Committee submits a report to the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, which also hears a statement from the CRC Chair, and the Assembly adopts a Resolution on the Rights of the Child.
By Sulaiman Karim Sesay
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